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Old 26-09-2008, 23:34   #1
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Ericson vs Pearson vs Tartan vs Catalina vs Islander

For some reason I've not been looking at Ericsons while doing boat searches. I guess because I'm more familiar with the other subject vessels. I don't want to have anyone slam another vessel but for those of you in the know and want to share your opinion, how would you rate Ericsons with the rest of those that I mentioned in the subject line?

Opinions are very welcome.

Thanks for your time.

JohnL
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Old 27-09-2008, 08:01   #2
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Ericsons are nice boats. Great sailing characteristics & fast. They do have a spade rudder, though, which is a bad idea for cruising. They have a 38-footer that some guys did a fast circumnavigation in a couple of years back. Sorry but can't think of the name.

I sailed a Pearson for several years, and have been on some Tartans, Catalinas & Islanders. The price point on the Tartan is higher than the other boats, but they are all solid. The islander stands out--design wise--from the others in the list with a clipper type bow & dolphin striker & such. Personally I love that sort of design, but don't like the upkeep involved with it. You do see a lot of old Islanders out there still cruising, so they're obviously laid up well.

If I were to rank the boats on the list for coastal cruising versus bluewater I'd come up with two different rankings. But assuming bluewater and similar features id rank them like this:

Tartan
Pearson
Ericson
Islander
Catalina
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Old 27-09-2008, 11:54   #3
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Starfish,
Thanks for your honesty. What size was your Pearson?
Regards,
JohnL
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Old 27-09-2008, 16:48   #4
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I might the top two choices of Starfish but Tartan and Pearson were on the top of my list looking for a classic cruiser. One big thing about the Tartan is you can them with a tiller. That's nearly impossible with a Pearson above 30'.

I'd move Ericson down to the bottom of the list. More than one has dewveloped cracks cracks forward of the keel after long, hard open ocean use. Believe the crazy man Web Chiles had this happen and have heard recently of two 39s with that problem. These problems appeared only after many miles very hard (southern ocean) sailing IIRC. For most of us, the Ericson's would work just fine. The early Tartans and Pearsons hulls were way stout layups. The later boats from both mfg. are not built as stoutly, btw.

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Old 27-09-2008, 18:21   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
Starfish,
Thanks for your honesty. What size was your Pearson?
Regards,
JohnL
I had a 1976 Pearson 10M tall rig. Bill Shaw designed the boat, and she did a lot of things very well. Engine access was a nightmare, but other than that she was an incredible boat for the money. I sailed "Rover" from West Palm Beach, Florida to Brisbane, Australia and never felt that the boat was overwhelmed. (I frequently felt overwhelmed, but the boat was extremely forgiving of my fatigue, stupidity, etc.) I really couldn't speak more highly of the boat at the price.
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Old 28-09-2008, 14:14   #6
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Any comments by Ericson owners?
JohnL
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Old 28-09-2008, 18:26   #7
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I had a 1978 Ericson 32 that I sailed pretty heavily for a couple of years. It was a fast, balanced, relatively leak-proof little boat. It had an Atomic 4 engine and a CNG stove; both caused me much grief.

Chris King (designer) of Ericson yachts is up near LA (or used to be), and is really helpful if you need any questions answered.

Mine had some small blisters that were easily repairable, but other than that I don't remember any problems in particular. It was rigged for racing, and I used it for coastal cruising (some offshore, but not much).

I bought it for $14K in Long Beach back around 2002. I'd certainly recommend an Ericson to anyone who was doing coastal cruising, and if you knew what you're doing, you can use it for more. A good captain can sail a bathtub around the world.
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Old 28-09-2008, 19:26   #8
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I race on two

I race on two Ericson's and find them to be well built upper end productions boats. I have owned three Catalina's and I can assure you the Ericson's are put together far better, are much stiffer in a blow with minimal to no flexing or creaking and over all rugged compared to Catalina's. A Catalina is not in the same quality spectrum as the Ericson.

I race on a 35-3 and a 34 and both are fast boats. My one big complaint is Ericson's corner cutting when it comes to thru-huls and seacocks and their use of PVC in seacock systems. Everything else is good and certainly puts them on a level with, and in many cases, above a Pearson of the mid to late 80's vintage. I still think the Tartan's of that era were better built than Ericson's but they are also considerably slower.

I sail a very ruggedly built CS-36 and while the Ericson is not built to that standard it is well above the vast majority of production boats out there. Personally I am not as impressed with later Pearson's like the 31-1 33 or 36 but the earlier ones are tanks..
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